Tom Weeden was in action at the Snetterton 300 circuit last weekend for Round 4 of the Triumph Triple Challenge. He felt confident going into the meeting and was hoping to be pushing for a podium position to get some solid points on the board. Prior to the meeting Weeden held 4th position in the championship, however controversy in Race 2 at Snetterton left Weeden with the solid points he required to move up into third position overall.
Weeden got off to a steady start in practice working on learning the track and finding a set up. He ended the session 9th fastest but remained confident that he could easily reduce the lap time for the qualifying session. He went a full 3 seconds faster in the qualifying session; however it was only enough to give him seventh position on the grid as everyone else upped their game as well.
Weeden got a great start in Race 1 from the inside of row two and slotted into third position into turn one. He held third for two laps before being passed and relegated to fourth position. Weeden tried to respond and push for the podium position; however he made a mistake on his downshifts at the end of the Bentley Straight. He hit neutral instead of first and had to sit up mid corner to get the bike back in gear. This lost him time and places as he dropped down into sixth position and lost the slipstream of the riders in front. Weeden pushed to close the gap and get close enough to make an overtake on the last few laps. By lap eight he had closed the gap right down and was preparing to make a move for a top five position. However on lap nine Weeden was overtaken by Patronen and relegated to seventh position. Weeden tried to overtake Tom Hayward at the end of the Bentley Straight; however Hayward fought back and held 6th position. Weeden tried a very brave move up the inside at the Bombhole but as he tipped in to get his knee down the rear lost traction and started to slide right out, it looked as if he had crashed however Weeden instinctively jabbed his foot down and somehow managed to steady the bike. He crossed the line in seventh and was delighted just to have finished the race after such a scary moment on the last lap. Based on his fastest lap in Race 1 Weeden was promoted to fifth on the grid for Race 2 on Sunday and he was confident he could get off to another great start from there.
Weeden made another great start in Race 2, moving up into third position by the end of lap two after Weeden narrowly missed a fallen rider ahead of him at the exit of Nelson and was lucky not to be brought down in the incident. He dropped to fifth on lap three where he remained until an incident caused the safety car to come out. This allowed the riders to bunch up and they were off again for a sprint to the finish on lap seven. Phil Atkinson received a ride through for overtaking under the safety car and this moved Weeden into fourth position. Weeden had sight of the podium position but just didn’t have the pace to fight for third at the end of the race. Weeden was over the moon with fourth and some more solid points on the board; however whilst packing up the awning ready to go home the news arrived that protests had been made that left two of the riders in front with 21 second penalties. This meant that Weeden actually finished second on the final sheet and the 20 points moved Weeden up into third place overall in the championship.
Tom Weeden is next out at his local circuit for round 5 of the Triumph Triple Challenge at the Brands Hatch GP circuit on 20th to 22nd August.